Spending time on paddling or swim drills may seem counter productive, yet doing so could help take your surfing fitness to the next level.
Think about it…
Michael Phelps cross trained extensively with strength and conditioning work, yet most of his speed, power and endurance came from technical practice in the water.
Tour De France cyclists incorporate indoor cycling on rollers or wind trainers into their training. Why? Because the controlled environment allows for better concentration and targeting specific fitness components and technique. Also because of the law of specificity. Cyclists must cycle. Surfers must paddle.
How about other sports?
Lebron James conditions himself off court, yet most of his training is in the environment he competes.
Roger Federer, wouldn’t train in the gym, without training on a tennis court where he plays.
All athletes must adhere to the laws of sport science, especially the law of specificity.
The same is true for surfers.
To improve surfing fitness, paddle power and lung function it is best to train in environments that allow us to specifically develop those abilities. In other words – in the water.
While strength training and conditioning can support surfing fitness, lets work out priorities based on sport science.
1) To improve the skill-set of any sport – specific neurological pathways from brain to body must be established. In other words; specific sport related skills must be practised. Priority #1: When there is surf – go surf.
2) Paddling is the base of all ocean surfing and is a skill that can be improved. It doesn’t matter how many squats or Yoga poses you can do if you can’t paddle efficiently or suffer from poor paddle power. Priority #2: Develop better paddle power and muscular-skeletal capacity with surf specific swim and paddling drills.
3) Functional movement patterns on land will impact your ability to move better in the surf. Priority #3: Include strength and flexibility conditioning into your surfing training.
I’m the first to agree that functional conditioning and fitness programs do carry over into better performance, truckloads of power and less injuries. I also believe specificity is fundamental to better sport performance.
So… the low down…
Even if you surf all the time, surf training in the pool or ocean to improve lung function and paddle power will improve your A game. However, just doing long paddles is not going to cut it. Aim to mix up your training with sport specific intensities that carry over into surfing.
As a surfer you can benefit from improving your paddling efficiency, power and endurance with sport specific swim drills. This is especially true for beginners or out of shape surfers; if a fitter surfer can out-paddle you – they will catch more waves than you. It’s that simple.
FREE BONUS: Fitness training in the pool or gym will help you feel stronger physically yet more importantly you will benefit from a stronger mental edge too. And many surfers will say, the mental edge is the priority.
Stay focused and do what you have to do.
Remember, surfing is your medicine – so be at your best. For speaking engagements or private performance coaching to improve your surfing, health and fitness contact Hayden at email@example.com
If you would like a personal 90 Min strategic coaching call, contact me.
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Hayden Rhodes (Club Manager of Phukets Finest Health Club) is the creator of Surf Training Secrets. If you love surfing or snowboarding and want to get surf fit fast and build a body to last, go visit SurfTrainingSecrets.com